Impact of Irrigation on Fertilizer Use Decision of Farmers in China: A Case Study in Weihe River Basin

Fanus Asefaw Aregay, Zhao Minjuan


The contribution of irrigation and chemical fertilizer on Chinese agricultural production growth is considerable. Both subsidized fertilizer price and low irrigation water price have encouraged farmers to adopt these modern inputs. However, the inefficient usages practiced by the farmers have exposed the nation to environmental and water pollution. Moreover, the increasing production cost arising from overuse of fertilizer coupled with decreasing soil response to fertilizer application is another issue. The Chinese government has proposed integrated water management plans like irrigation water pricing to regulate the co-existing problems. There are enough evidences that adoption of irrigation can induce adoption of inorganic fertilizer. However, researches on their relationship are scant in areas where inefficient utilization of these inputs is the problem rather than their adoption. Thus, the main objective of this paper was to analyze whether irrigation have a significant impact on fertilizer use decision of farmers in China. Our case study in Shaanxi province along the Weihe River basin based on farm plot level primary data confirmed that fertilizer use have a significant relationship with irrigation. From our analysis using ordinary least square model, we concluded that policies that improve irrigation water efficiency could also have impact on fertilizer use efficiency.

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Journal of Sustainable Development   ISSN 1913-9063 (Print)   ISSN 1913-9071 (Online) Email:

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